Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Poem for Wednesday and Carderock Wildlife

The Centipede's Dilemma
By Katherine Craster

A centipede was happy -- quite!
Until a toad in fun
Said, "Pray, which leg moves after which?"
This raised her doubts to such a pitch,
She fell exhausted in the ditch
Not knowing how to run.


I don't have a lot to say and am behind on everything, so if I owe you an email or comment, sorry, will get back to it when I can concentrate on anything. It was hot here, though not nearly as bad as where my kids are, and apparently it's worse in parts of Oregon and British Columbia. Besides dyeing my roots, I can't even remember what I did till evening, when we went for a walk before Taco Tuesday and I watched Voyager's "Innocence" with my regulars. 

Afterward we watched a bunch of Netflix's Penguin Town, which is scripted more like a reality TV show than a nature documentary -- no onscreen deaths or babies getting mauled by predators, humans trying their best to do the right thing at all times -- not the show to watch if you want to learn about the reality of life for penguins in populated South Africa, but a total delight if you want a narrative about penguins and humans having a lot in common. 

I only just uploaded my photos from the canal at Carderock on Sunday before everything went to shit -- we could hear the frogs but they were hiding from the camera. So here are a teeny toad with a pic for size reference, a couple of turtles, a duckling, a dragonfly, and wild raspberries: 


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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Placeholder for Tuesday

My Monday was shit, other than I got some nice messages and comments of condolence from people and Maddy called. I got to talk to my kids some, too, because it's over 105 degrees where they are, so Daniel was still at work at 9:30 p.m. to stay in the air conditioning (along with several teammates and his friend since high school who also works there) and Adam sent photos of Pepper, who was too hot even to want to hide under a blanket. Anyway, here are some photos of Daisy doing some of her favorite things: 

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Monday, June 28, 2021

Poem for Monday and Daisy

Arise From Sleep
By Kobayashi Issa

Rise from sleep, old cat,
And with great yawns and stretchings
Amble out for love


My Sunday started okay -- Skyped with the kids, went for a walk along the canal at Carderock, had dinner with my parents -- but we came home and found Daisy looking like she'd slid off the back of the couch, unresponsive and apparently not breathing, and by the time we got her to the emergency vet, she was gone. She was only 14 -- Cinnamon, 20, is the one I'd been worried about -- and we'll probably never know exactly what happened. Here is the first photo I ever took of her, the first photo of her in our house, a photo of her and Rosie, a photo younger son took of her, a photo of her lounging with family, one of the last photos I took of her, and the last photo of me with Daisy, Cinnamon, Katniss, and Effie. 

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Sunday, June 27, 2021

Greetings from the Hillwood Museum

Saturday started with rain but then turned into a gorgeous day, not too hot, so after lunch we went to Hillwood. There are three new exhibits: Roaring Twenties, an exhibit about Marjorie Merriweather Post's clothing, accessories, and furnishings during the Jazz Age and in Paris on display in the Adirondack Building; The Porcelain Flowers of Vladimir Kanevsky, a series of indoor artistic models throughout the mansion where Post displayed flowers from her own gardens, and Rich Soil, ghostly dancing wire sculptures in the gardens by Kristine Mays. They were all gorgeous and it was fun to visit a museum, even masked indoors! 

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Paul made Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberries for dinner for Midsummer, which is celebrated in Sweden on the weekend nearest the solstice rather than on the solstice. Afterward, we watched the rest of The Night Manager, which is really quite excellent -- in all the hullabaloo over Hiddleston's Golden Globes speech and the internet dramatically falling out of love with him, I'd forgotten how great he is in it, and Olivia Colman is phenomenal as always (so is Hugh Laurie but he's very evil in this). We also watched Wish Dragon, which has a good cast and pokes amusing fun at Disney while also following a lot of Disney formulas. 


Saturday, June 26, 2021

Poem for Saturday and Discovery Park Flowers

Lupine Ridge
By Peggy Simson Curry

Long after we are gone,
Summer will stroke this ridge in blue;
The hawk still flies above the flowers,
Thinking, perhaps, the sky has fallen
And back and forth forever he may trace
His shadow on its azure face.

Long after we are gone,
Evening wind will languish here
Between the lupine and the sage
To die a little death upon the earth,
As though over the sundown prairies fell
A requiem from a bronze-tongued bell.

Long after we are gone,
This ridge will shape the night,
Lifting the wine-streaked west,
Shouldering the stars.  And always here
Lovers will walk under the summer skies
Through flowers the color of your eyes.


My Friday was pretty quiet, good weather, lots of chores including retrieving the car from getting serviced, food shopping, and wild mood swings about the news (horrified about Florida, relieved about Floyd's murderer's sentence, unsurprised by Vance). We had lots of chipmunks and chickadees and even a couple of bunnies around. 

 I was in the mood to rewatch The Night Manager for a bunch of reasons -- the cast, Loki, Tenet, and the Morocco scenes from MIB: International -- so we watched the first half, and it was as great as I had remembered, plus enjoyable to see some cast members whose work I know better now. Flowers from Seattle's Discovery Park: 


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Friday, June 25, 2021

Poem for Friday and Bridle Trails State Park

By Teresa Mei Chuc

I close my eyes so that I can see it.
What we so freely eliminate. Who is
not guilty of it? We reek of paper.
Everywhere we go is paper. Our
hands are stained with paper.
Walls. What echoes from our walls.
The sweet whisper of rainforest—
even the name makes the sound of
rushing water or perhaps it’s a ghost
that haunts us. They say the dead
that did not die a peaceful death are
doomed forever to wander the earth.
But perhaps this earth is for them
already a cemetery—stacks and
stacks of flesh on a desk. Which
one belongs to which tree?
Already, we’ve traded oxygen for
so much.


Sorry, late from trying to get a decent photo of the Strawberry Moon (looked amazing but none of my photos were sharp). I had a pretty quiet Thursday; the weather was gorgeous, it was a windows-open kind of a day and a long-walk-in-the-afternoon kind of a day. We had lots of chipmunks, squirrels, woodpeckers, doves, cardinals, and many little birds visiting on the deck so the cats had a lot of entertainment. 

My Thursday night chat was canceled because so many people couldn't come, so and I caught up on The Flash, which was okay mostly because The Flash was barely in the episode and it was all about women working together, plus Kung Fu, which to some extent had the same. Here are some photos from the rainforest at Bridle Trails State Park near Redmond from our trip a few weeks ago: 

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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Poem for Thursday and Riley's Lock Herons

Profile of the Night Heron
By Anne Pierson Wiese

In the Brooklyn Botanic Garden the night
heron is on his branch of his tree, blue
moon curve of his body riding low
above the pond, leaves dipping into water
beneath him, green and loose as fingers.
On the far shore, the ibis is where
I left him last time, a black cypher
on his rock. These birds, they go to the right
place every day until they die.

There are people like that in the city,
with signature hats or empty attaché cases,
expressions of private absorption fending
off comment, who attach to physical
locations—a storefront, a stoop, a corner,
a bench—and appear there daily as if for a job.
They negotiate themselves into the pattern
of place, perhaps wiping windows, badly,
for a few bucks, clearing the stoop of take-out
menus every morning, collecting the trash
at the base of the walk/don’t walk sign
and depositing it in the garbage can.

Even when surfaces change, when the Mom & Pop
store becomes a coffee bar, when the park
benches are replaced with dainty chairs and a pebble
border, they stay, noticing what will never change:
the heartprick of longitude and latitude
to home in on, the conviction that life
depends, every day, on what outlasts you.


The highlight of my Wednesday was talking to 2/3 of my regular high school friend lunch group (the third is at the beach with her family), with guest appearances by one of each of their kids. It was otherwise a chore day: work, laundry, dropping off the car for regular service, taking returns to UPS, and eventually a walk at Locust Grove where we saw frogs and enjoyed the woods. It was a gorgeous day but our neighbors were having a tree chopped and chipped, so it was very noisy. 

We had Beyond Burgers for dinner before this week's Loki episode "Lamentis" which I loved in every way -- I'm going to think of it as the installment that finally, unequivocally gave us a major queer character in the MCU, which is glorious, but it's also the Snowpiercer episode with the Indiana Jones "no ticket" scene, beautifully lit and visually spectacular, with Loki singing folk songs. Another! Here are some of the great blue and black-crowned night herons we saw at the canal last Saturday: